Saturday, August 11, 2018

Stripping and Stacking Up My Coins

I want you to know that stripping is a lot of work.  Wait, WAIT!  Calm Down! I didn't take my clothes off.  LOL.
I have been tearing the long strips for the coin quilt today.  After an email chat with A Left-Handed Quilter about tearing the strips, I decided to tear the strips instead of having to try to cut on grain for longer strips.  On my own, I decided to use the length of the fabric -not selvage to selvage - for the strips since they would already be longer - so less piecing.  The added bonus is that the lengthwise grain doesn't stretch as it is the "warp" threads of the fabric. (Sorry - geeky weaving reference.)

Also several more groups of coin sections were constructed.

While looking for additional fabrics to add in with the jelly roll strips, I found an abandoned project. I had sewn a "jelly roll race" quilt top and really didn't like it. So I had cut it into 12 1/2" squares. A few of those got cut up and used as parts of the coin sections. Extra bonuses: pre-sewn strips and there are some angled pieces in the mix.

The picture of the strips is not nearly as exciting. But it does show that I used some organizational skills.




































The green strips are cut to the correct lengths and are all ready to go.  The two longest gray strips are cut to length and labeled. The other gray strips are just torn and ironed.
Still this is some nice progress on the coin quilt.
Although I don't have a photo, there is also one looo----ooong strip of coins with the gray joining pieces and ends sewn.  Now I can add the long gray and green strip to the side of it Monday and really feel accomplished.

A side note:  When I created the quilt in Electric Quilt 7, I didn't think about the lengths of the strips perhaps needing to be in standard measurements.  I used the ruler tool to guesstimate lengths that I then wrote on my printout of the quilt image. I may think about sizing more carefully in the future. Ha ha.  But as in business math, numbers can be rounded up or down.  Then I can just make it work. I can always trim off bits as necessary.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. However at this time Blogger is not notifying me of comments. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

An Interlude


Not a lot of quilting going on right now.  I did start making the strips to go between rows on the coin quilt.  I have also joined together one long coin strip that will be at the left side of the quilt. But no pictures at this point.

So I am going to share a bit more of  my ukulele journey with you.  Feel free to skip this if you aren't interested.
The song is Gone at Last by Paul Simon. I think it was on his Essential Paul Simon CD. 
There isn't any real "video" but it is easier to share by way of YouTube so that is how I did it.




Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. However at this time Blogger is not notifying me of comments. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

A New Plan - Fresh Bread

First let me tell you that I made a second loaf of the Artisan Bread.  The first time, I followed the directions exactly and got a good loaf of bread.  So, I knew that the recipe works.

Take Two:   Now, I can play with the recipe.  For this version, I used one cup of plain white flour, one cup of "Better for Bread" flour, and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour -and just to be a bit crazy- and 1/4 cup of Buttermilk Cornmeal mix. (You know I am a Southern guy, right?)  I used some extra yeast - basically all that was left in the packet after making the other loaf. It was more than I expected to be in there. Ha ha. 
I put the full amount of water in the big liquid measuring cup and added about a cup of it first and then slowly added the rest. It took it all and maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons more.  This was due to the changes in flour and addition of the cornmeal mix. 
I also added some oregano and some Garlic and French herbs blend seasoning into the dough.  I let it rise overnight probably 14-16 hours - until it was convenient for me to bake it off.

I had already cut a piece before I remembered that I needed a photo.  That piece is now in my stomach. YUMMMMM.  This was a huge success.  Definitely "repeat worthy" in my opinion.

The coin quilt plan has been altered once more to allow my quilt-as-you-go plan to work without showing. 
There is the possibility of some green applique on the two gray lengthwise strips just to add another layer of design.  Time will tell.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. However at this time Blogger is not notifying me of comments. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Baking and Planning

Yesterday,  I decided to try making the Artisan Bread with only four ingredients.  I learned about this bread from Debbie at Stitchin' Therapy.  The recipe is here. This bread is surprisingly easy although I think the author left out a bit of the instructions that she assumed most bakers would know.  I mixed the dough using the exact ingredients on the list.  My dough was almost soupy. So, having baked bread years ago, I added flour to get it to the "shaggy dough" stage.  (I probably should have added a bit more. )   Here is what  I think she forgot to tell us: The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of water.  However, flour varies because of many things.  Also your altitude, weather and probably something else I am forgetting can affect the dough. So, add the water in stages.  Next time I will start with one cup of water and stir, then gradually add water until I get the "shaggy dough" that is needed.
My dough rose beautifully.  After 5 hours it was almost doubled.
There is no before picture (sorry) but this is my large mixing bowl and it is almost to the top of it. Before rising it was a little less than half full.  This was allowed to rise/stay in the bowl for 8 hours.

I confess that I baked this for supper with a beef dish that I improvised. I was cooking supper for a friend and forgot to get a finished photo of the bread - and, well, we ate almost all of it. 
I didn't have a Dutch oven, so I used a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  I placed two small metal containers with water in them to create steam while it was baking. The crust was very crisp and chewy.  It stood up nicely to being soaked in the meat juices and retaining a crunch.  I am proclaiming this a win!

Meanwhile, the coins quilt hit a snag yesterday. I pulled out my gray fabric and realize that it is just under two yards. According to Electric Quilt 7,  I would need just over 4 yards to make it with the previous plan.  So,  early this morning I sat at EQ7 and played with an idea that I couldn't figure out earlier.  I  realized that I could make the solid gray divider strips into "pieced strips" in EQ7 and use one color at the top and the gray at the bottom. 

 But.......  what if........

I played with the idea and added color at the top and bottom.  The green is close to a solid green that I have in my stash.




































Oh yes, this is a fun plan! My finished product will not match this, but it will be similar and will really be fun.  Of course this totally messes up my plan for making the quilt in sections and joining it together. 
Now what will I do?????


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. However at this time Blogger is not notifying me of comments. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Stacks of Coins


Famous last words:  I will not be rushing through this quilt.
Yes, I wrote those words and I meant it.  Really I am not rushing, but this is going quickly because my process is to cut a bunch of strips and then sit down at the machine in odd minutes and sew strip sets.  I was planning to put all the strip sets in one photo.  Then I started laying them on the floor to photograph.... Hmmm, this is going to take two photos.




























The shortest stack set in the photos is more than 24" in length. These sets are not actually joined together. (and this is not the way it will be laid out.)  Some of the stacks are as many as four sets laid together.  And while they look crooked in the photo, each small set is actually straight.  In fact keeping it straight is the main reason for working in short sets.  Then there is the other reason - I am planning a layout something like the mockup below:
Of course, it will be a bit more random. Chances are good that none of the stacks will match in length to the one next to it.  I will make this in three or four long strips: left side, middle section(s) and right side.  This will allow me to quilt each section and then join them to make the final quilt.  It is much easier for me to quilt it on my domestic machine this way.

Another interesting thing that I want to share with you is about fabrics.  When I was cutting these strips I was reminded that fabric has two sides and sometimes each side has merit. It is quite okay to use the 'back' of the fabric as the front.  Early in my quilting journey, I bought some fabric that was put on the bolt with the wrong side facing out. It had been placed in the clearance bin and was a great bargain.  I didn't realize that the wrong side was out, but I liked the dreamy quality  that was displayed.  I still have some of that fabric and I am using it in this quilt.  I am also using a "woodland scene" fabric that is quite nice on the reverse side.

Fabrics A and B are the same fabric but seen from different sides.  A is the back and B is the front. There is no purple apparent in B, but in A it shows nicely.
C and D are the fabric that I bought looking at the back side.  While the back side is softer in color and has a dream-like quality,  the front is bolder and is accented with a metallic overlay on the clouds.
The takeaway lesson is this - look at the back side of your fabric and see if you can use the "other" side.  For scrappy quilts, this increases the number of fabrics you can use.  If you don't put them close together it will rarely be noticed.

Another fun thing to do is - if you have a stripe fabric is to cut strips going both ways.  I used this with one of my stripe fabrics in the above strip sets.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. However at this time Blogger is not notifying me of comments. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.